Aggressive treatment of early stage prostate cancer doesn’t save lives

Prostate cancer is the second-leading killer of men, with more than 240,000 new diagnoses and 28,000 deaths every year. While many doctors still screen for the disease, more and more medical organizations are recommending against routinely doing so. And even with a cancer diagnosis, it’s not clear that aggressive treatments such as surgery or radiation is always helpful.

That’s because treatments have side effects, whereas the tumor might never have caused problems if left alone. I am talking about the biggest side effect of all-impotence (which is not corrected by Cialis). Eighty percent of the men who had surgery reported having impotence.

The new study is based on 731 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer, often as a result of screening with the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test. Researchers then randomly assigned the men to prostate removal or observation only.

More than a decade after the tumor was discovered, 5.8 percent of the men who received surgery had died from prostate cancer or its treatment, compared to 8.4 percent of patients where doctors just kept an eye on the tumor. Overall, 47 percent of the men in the surgery group died during the study, compared to 50 percent of the others.

Now we have two studies which conclude that screening and treating men for early stage prostate cancer has more risks than benefits-this one and the one where PSA screening of as symptomatic men failed to reduce deaths from prostate cancer.

If you are diagnosed with early stage prostate cancer, be sure to talk to your doctor about active surveillance rather than surgery or radiation. It works as well and there aren’t any side effects.


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